SUNFOIL’S RISING CRICKET STARS
By: Tankiso Moshoeshoe
Joint cricket forces accelerate development and transformation in townships by empowering involvement amongst black youngsters.
A development programme run by the Kwa-Zulu Natal cricket union, the Willowton Group and manufactures of Sunfoil cooking oil, provides disadvantaged youngsters with an
opportunity to showcase their talent in cricket.
The initiative that began in 2007 has become very successful as elite teams from different townships in KZN gather together to play against prestigious schools in tournaments.
Linda Zondi, the National Convenor Proteas selectors, was also present at his former high school when the Sun-foil’s elite cricket team- under 14 and under 19, was playing against
Glenwood High School this Saturday 05 September 2015.
Umlazi Coach Letho Sithole, said that they play with these schools from 3rd the term, and they usually have elite players from different townships on Saturdays.
“We have really progressed as a township team, because from when we began we couldn’t play against schools like these. But as time went on we managed to get into the league,” said
Participation amongst black people on the pitch in this Saturday’s cricket match was commended by the supporters and was seen as a good approach to involve all races.
Letho added that the initiative was not necessarily about a matter of changing the stereotype of cricket being for other races. But is aimed more into involving black people into this sport.
“Maybe after 20 years or so we can choose from different races, but for now we are trying to grow cricket for black people. Then, when it has grown, we will know how to put everyone
else and compete,” he continued.
Bongumusa Shozi (12) who is a player for the under 14’s, from Sukuma Primary School in Umlazi, said that he appreciates cricket as it paves a lot of opportunities for the future.
“I started playing cricket from primary school, and because I really enjoy and good at it- I was selected to play for the under 14 elite teams.
I think cricket is better than other sports because we get to participate more rather than being put in the bench all the time,” added Shozi.
The transformation agenda stresses the importance of sports in schools and in nurturing growth in young talent.